Sep 192015

Recently we got a new follower on twitter called “Herpes News,” so naturally we checked them out. We’re always glad to support other people and organizations in the campaign to spread accurate herpes news and fight the stigma associated with it.

But this “Herpes News” wasn’t that at all! The posts on that account are nothing but a continuous stream of bad jokes about herpes interspersed with links to a website that sells a scam “ herpes cure” product. The jokes are all hurtful, mean, ignorant and perpetuate the stigma that herpes is bad, and the people with herpes are promiscuous “skanks.”

So we blocked them.

There is no place in our world for ignorant jokes that hurt and make people feel like their worth is diminished because they have a simple, common virus. That someone would call themselves “Herpes News” in order to sell a dubious product under false pretenses to people seeking relief and hope is disgusting to us.

Most disheartening is that they have over 1000 followers, and undoubtedly are duping some people into going to their website and ordering the product. Which means they’re probably making a lot of money by using deceptive practices and selling false hope of a cure.

The fight against such practices is ongoing for decades now. We can only hope that the people who spread real “herpes news,” accurate information, and rally against ignorant, uninformed humor and stigma will prevail in the long run. It’s a hard road, but we’re still here after all these years with our small voices raised in support for those who need it. Just say no to the bad guys!

Jul 202014

We’ve posted about this before, but it bears repeating because people get so upset over the word “Herpes,” yet herpes has been around far longer than we have.  New research shows that herpesviruses have been infecting humanoids since before we were even human. HSV1 for over 6 millions years, and HSV2 for about 1.6 million years.  It’s not that it’s something to scoff at, but it does remind us just how common herpesviruses are and how for most of us, at some point, it’s an unavoidable fact of life.

In a study published in “Molecular Biology and Evolution,” researchers Joel O. Wertheim, Martin D. Smith, Davey M. Smith, Konrad Scheffler1, and Sergei L. Kosakovsky Pond investigated HSV1 and HSV2 evolution and divergence. Interesting reading!


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Jun 152014

Almost 20 years ago, Genital Herpes happened to us.  In the 90s, “The Big H” was the subject of massive stigma created by the media in the 80s.  It was even called “The New Scarlet Letter” in Time Magazine.  People could barely talk about it with their doctors, much less friends and family.  The isolation people felt, becoming social outcasts over a simple, very common virus was a real and devastating situation. People went into hiding from relationships and from public acknowledgement of HSV.  Afraid of stigma and ostracism, they went anonymously onto the internet for solace, community, and support.

“Herpes” became the term synonymous with HSV in the genitals, while “Cold Sores” was the term for the same viruses on the face.  This division exacerbated the stigma.  The idea that having the virus “down there” was somehow dirty and wrong but that others who have the same thing on the mouth are perfectly normal and fine can be extremely difficult to deal with.

The very real and very dramatic shame felt by people diagnosed with a genital herpes infection caused some to give up on social interaction, love, and some even to commit suicide.  Being told your love life is forever “damaged,” and that you were a bad person because you inadvertently got a virus, was a trauma that many could not handle. Getting herpes in the 90s sucked!

What has changed in the Herpes World since 1994?

There are more studies showing how common herpes infections are.  There are more medications to help prevent outbreaks.  There are new testing methods to give people answers and reassurance.  There is progress towards a vaccine.  There are more people than ever who have oral, genital, or both.  HSV-2 is no longer the only herpes considered “genital herpes” it once was as transmission rates of HSV-1 to the genitals have risen to 30% and even 50% of genital herpes diagnoses.  There are communities of people banding together to fight the stigma and shame associated with STIs.

Individual emotional progress and evolution to peace and acceptance.  Herpes symptoms ease up over time.  The outbreaks become fewer and less annoying.  You find people in life who understand, who don’t care about your “HSV status,” who love you no matter what little virus you may have.  You realize that the MAJORITY of people in the world have one or both herpes simplexes, and you feel less alone as a result.  You find that you don’t care as much, because it’s not who you are – it’s almost like having a cold or the flu.  Those viruses don’t define people, and herpes doesn’t define you, either.

The Stigma Stays the Same

And yet, so much has stayed the same.  The social stigma remains the same.  Stigma caused by a lack of knowledge about what HSV is and what it isn’t.  Ignorance of the way HSV is transmitted.  The fact that Genital Herpes is on the sexual organs.  Ignorance of the fact that anyone can get herpes, that it has nothing to do with sexual morality or lack thereof, and that herpes is non-discriminatory about who it affects.  Ignorance that “cold sores,” “fever blisters,” and “herpes” are the same viruses: herpes simplex virus 1 & 2.  Hundreds of of millions of people have it, and yet the shame remains.

And the stigma seems even worse in 2014 because the internet, while providing more information and resources for support, also gives the ignorant and the haters a bigger, louder, more visible platform for their meanness and stupidity.  The shame seems deeper, the hate seems more pervasive and omnipresent.  In these days of bullying awareness and the anti-bully movement, people with herpes are still bullied daily by the media, by random strangers, and people they work and socialize with.  It’s not easy to live in today’s world with herpes when most people around you think it’s one of the worst things ever.

So while we have much progress to be thankful for over the past 20 years, there is still much work to be done to bring the Herpes mindset out of the dark ages.

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Oct 052012

We have a lot of opinions about how Herpes is portrayed in the media, the stigma and bullying that people with Herpes undergo, and how purveyors of products conduct themselves. Here’s where we’ll get real and pull no punches.

Stop the Herpes Bullying & Hate-mongering!

Bullying is getting a lot of media attention lately.  But at the same time, there are hundreds if not thousands of instances of name-calling, fear-mongering, and hate speech about people with Herpes every day.  And using Herpes as a slur.  Check twitter and you can’t even count the mean, hateful, ignorant remarks.

Given the statistics, many if not most of the people promoting Herpes Hate have it themselves.

Herpes – HSV 1 and HSV 2 – is just a virus.  It’s extremely common – as many as 75% of the population of the WORLD has Oral Herpes.  Call it “Cold Sores,’ “Fever Blisters,” or whatever you like, it’s still HERPES.  And nothing to be ashamed of.  And as many as 25% of adults have Genital Herpes. That’s 1 out of 4 people.  Some studies show 1 in 6 but that’s still a huge number!

Why the stigma about Genital Herpes?

Why the stigma about the *word* Herpes?  Just because something is connected to our sex organs?  If Oral Herpes is not a bad awful thing, then why is Genital?  The virus doesn’t care which mucous membranes it hangs out on, so why should we?

It’s time for the stigma, the hate, the bullying to stop.  Herpes is just a temporary rash caused by a virus.  It’s an annoyance, a tiny snag in the fabric of life.  It is what we make of it, so let’s start making it No Big Deal.  Be kind, be compassionate, be fair.  Stop judging people because they have a common virus!

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Apr 212012

We love the interwebz!  Back in the early days of this site, the internet was new, and primarily information.  It was even called “The Information Superhighway” – remember those days?

As time has progressed, the internet has grown enormously, and more and more commercialism has crept in.  Actually, it’s taken over almost completely!  It’s become increasingly difficult to find actual helpful or accurate information that’s not tainted by financial interests.

How many times have we clicked on what looked like a promising link, only to find it was a shill for some dubious product, or the site was full of wild, unsubstantiated claims, or it *seemed* legit, but down deep it turned out to be just another scam?

Ineffective Disclosure Regulations & Hidden Agendas

There have been laws enacted to combat the false claims and the product “reviews” and “endorsements” that were really just an advertising agreement.  Websites are now required to disclose affiliate links and advertising.  But even now, many sites do not follow the law, do not disclose their associations or affiliate agreements, or claim to be independent but are actually owned by a company or product manufacturer.

We’ve Always Been Focused on Support & Information… But a Site’s Gotta Pay the Bills!

For many many years, refused to accept advertising of any kind to avoid the possibility of contamination or the perception that our opinions were influenced by association to a product or company.  But financial reality set in, and in order to maintain the site, we decided some time ago to accept ads.  It’s not much, but it does pay our hosting and keeps us in coffee on those late nights when the site has crashed and we need to rebuild it from scratch.

We’re VERY selective about our advertisers sponsors, and will not endorse or promote a product or company that we don’t believe in.  We’ve blocked dozens of ads from a network provider that we feel are inappropriate and don’t add value to our visitors.  If you see an ad you find questionable, please let us know.

The Good, The Bad, and The Completely Unscrupulous Scammers

Meanwhile, we did a search recently, and found so many dubious sites, and many that are just a waste of time.  And some great ones, too.  How can you tell the difference quickly?  Sometimes, you have to do a little digging!  We decided to do some digging and post our findings and opinions here as an additional resource.  Let us know what you think, or if you want to add anything.

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